Summertime brings thoughts of outdoor parties; and as an Eichler owner who has hosted a few parties myself, I think that Eichlers were designed with partying in mind. That casual, easy flow between inside and out is what summer get-togethers are all about. Preparations can be as simple or elaborate is you want – ranging from putting out chips and dip and throwing a few beers and soft drinks into a cooler to a catered affair with fancy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.
Start with invitations. In addition to letting your friends know when and where, invites help to set the tone and let your guests know what to expect. Although there is nothing wrong with traditional printed invitations, I’ve become a fan of evites, which spread the word electronically. They are simple to use for the host and the guests. Regardless of whether you go the traditional route or take the tech path, be sure to include any useful info including any theme you have planned and whether or not the shindig is kid-friendly.
Plan the menu. With the theme of your party in mind, decide on food and beverages. For a summertime outdoor gathering, I like a more casual approach where guests can either get drinks from the bar or an ice-filled cooler and have nibbles set out on tables and countertops. You can also enlist the help of a professional caterer – or a few of the neighborhood teenagers to help pass trays of food or keep an eye on food platters, refilling them as necessary (which will free you up to enjoy your own party!).
Decide on seating. The easiest party is a stand and mingle soiree – but you’ll still need a few seats for guests who might want to take a load off. If you’re planning a sit down style BBQ or dinner, think ahead and have a table (or tables) arranged with ample seating.
Music always livens things up. Keeping your party theme in mind, choose some great playlists that will add to the ambience. Think of it as background music and adjust the volume accordingly.
Lighting adds a festive note. If your party will be in the evening, be sure that you have adequate lighting. String Christmas lights, hang lanterns, and set out LED candles to define spaces and brighten things up. Don’t forget to include the atrium in the lighting scheme!
Take the chill off the evening. The mild climate that makes Eichler living so pleasant often means cool evenings. If you have a fire pit, light it as the sun begins to set. You also might want to consider a couple of portable propane patio heaters.
What are you waiting for? Get the party going in your Eichler party house. Set out the food and drink; open the doors; and let the fun begin.
Invite Picture from Zazzle